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tv   State of the Union With Jake Tapper  CNN  June 12, 2016 9:00am-10:01am PDT

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we've had these war zones in our cities and country for quite some time but we're seeing them repeatedly. we're going to pause at the top of the hour and continue with our live coverage of this horrific event. the worst, deadliest mass shooting in the history of the country. i'm jake tapper in washington. we continue cnn's breaking news coverage of the deadliest shooting in u.s. history. for those of you just waking up and turning on the television, you might want to move the kids away from the tv. 50 people have been killed, 53 others are seriously injured after an overnight mass shooting, a terrorist act at an lgbt nightclub in orlando, florida. the shooting started today, a couple minutes after 2:00 a.m. eastern time. police say an officer responded, there was a shootout outside the club, the club is pulse. the gunman ran inside the pulse nightclub and a hostage
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situation began shortly thereafter. the nightclub posted this message on its facebook page "everyone get out of pulse and keep running." the hostage standoff lasted about three hours. at 5r7bd o'clock :00 in the mor used a bear cat to knock down the door and enter the club. they shot and killed the gunman who has been identified by law enforcement sources as omar seddique mateen from fort pierce, florida. a law enforcement source says mateen worked as a private security guard. police say throughout the other deal they were getting phone calls, text messages from terrified individuals inside the pulse nightclub but away from the gunman complicating the situation at the time people's friends and relatives also got such messages and many of them rushed down to the othrlando nightclub. >> 2:70 i got a text message from my daughter and two nieces "please come and get us now, they're shooting, they're
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shooting." then at2:12 i got a phone call from my daughter saying he was hit and going to pass out and call the cops and help and she was afraid and just -- just tragic. >> now, orlando mayor buddy d r dyer. mr. mayor, thanks for joining us. what a horrible day for the nation and orlando, florida. you had to tell the world this is, in fact, the deadliest mass shooting in the history of the united states. >> there's no way to describe it other than horrific and unimaginable. i am, however, proud of the way that our opd, ofd and surrounding law enforcement agencies responded. the victims are large in number but there were 350 individuals in the nightclub when the shooter began and it could have been worse. >> it could have been worse
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indeed and we've been hearing heroic stories not just about first responders but about individuals in the nightclub taking care of each other. tending to each other's wounds. but let us turn to those still in harm's way. there are 53 individuals in the hospitals and trauma centers in and around orlando. i know there was a call for those who are o positive, a negative to donate blood. is that true? >> it's something we need. fortunately the hospital is very near and we were able to transport people quickly.
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>> we've been told by congressman adam schiff on the house intelligence committee and senator bill nelson of your home state of florida announced there are suggestions that local law enforcement says the shooter, the terrorist who has been identified as omar seddique mateen, that he pledged allegiance to isis at some point. what else can you possibly tell us or can you even confirm that report? . >> i'm going to let the fbi handle that. we don't know and i'd feel more comfortable letting the fbi brief you on that. >> is there anything you can tell us about the wounded?
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do you expect the death toll to climb from the already-staggeringly number of 50? >> let's pray that it doesn't. i continue confirm that it won't. there are certainly individuals that came in in serious condition but we have high quality care going on but there have been a lot of people in surgery and are still in surgery as we talk right here. there has not been another death that i know of in -- since the last report and the jump from 20 do 50 all corresponded to individuals, victims that we found inside the nightclub when it was cleared and they were able to investigate. >> could you -- if you could, explain that a little bit. being told that the death toll was around 20 and then being told it was this record-breaking 50, the worst record ever. how did that happen exactly?
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>> there was an estimate of how many people were believed to be dead inside of the nightclub and there was information that there were explosive devices, planted in the nightclub. there was information being texted out that the shooter was suiting four of the hostages up in explosive vests so there was misinformation going on relative to that. so once the shooter was down we weren't able to immediately send in people to investigate, we sent our bomb detected robot in because there was a battery pack laying next to the shooter. he had a bag laying next to him so wibled there were still explosive devices that could have been detonated. we made sure we kept our officers and other responders safe and conducted the initial inquiry in a prudent manner and
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once we were able to go in and look at the scene, we identified that instead of 20 there were 40 individuals in the nightclub. >> and then what about the other 10? >> they had been transported to -- well, to get the number exactly right, there were 39 in the nightclub plus the shooter, that makes 40. there were nine that were transported to hospitals that died either enroute or at the hospital and there were two outside the nightclub. >> and could you tell us what happened during this three hours between the initial confrontation at 2:00 in the morning and when the police burst down the wall or the door with the bear cat? there were three hours of negotiation. was the shooter, did he make demands? was he identifying who he was? was he explaining why he was committing this horrific act?
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>> there were no negotiations, i can say at this point that there was communication. i can't yet say what those communications were but there were communications between the shooter and opd. there was also text communications from a number of the hostages and the hostages were in two different locations. there were some number between five and eight in a room with the shooter and there were another group between 15 and 25 in a separate isolated room. we breached the wall of the isolated room with the bear cat and were able to evacuate the hostages in that room and that's when the shooter came out, opened the door and started shooting outside and that's when we took him down. >> and lastly, sir, i know you have to go, but there are so many americans watching right now who want to know what they
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can do to help. obviously those in the orlando area can give blood and we've been giving that information all morning but what can those individuals as americans who are watching, what can they do? >> certainly sending their prayers of support and if they have family members in the orlando area, giving them some love and support. we're most concerned right now about identifying the victims and being able to notify the families so every one of the 50 victims has a family unit has a group of friends so it's not just 50 individuals that have been impacted, it is our entire community. and then in addition it's those individuals who were there and witnessed the events. we're going to have counseling services available but right now we just need love and prayers. >> just to clarify one point you just made, sir, and then i'll let you ego.
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how ma how many of the 50 victims have been identified? how many of their families have been notified? >> only a handful so far because they would be the ones that were transported so they would be among the nine that were at the hospital the process of identifying the 40 -- the 39 plus the shooter that remain in the nightclub is going to be somewhat cumbersome and we are asking everyone to be patient we want to make sure we get it accurate and don't mistakes. >> mayor buddy dyer on what must be a the worst day of his may mayor mayoralty. godspeed and best wishes to you and the citizens of orlando. >> thank you. >> and we have a photograph we want to show you right now coming in.
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this is a photograph of the shooter omar seddique mateen. that is what he looks like. we are still getting information from law enforcement, what we have been told about this individual is that he's from fort pierce, he had been trained as a security guard and according to congressman adam schiff who's on the house intelligence committee local police have told him that omar seddique mateen pledged allegiance to isis. paul cruickshank, we have him now, he is our terrorism analyst at cnn. paul cruickshank joining us live from london. paul, what can you tell us if this was in fact related to isis in some way. has isis claimed responsibility? is there a responsibility from the horrific missives from isis?
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what are they saying? >> jake, there has been no claim of responsibility from any group including isis so far. however on pro isis forums, their supporters are reacting with considerable excitement in the wake of this shooting. i think we can expect that to rise if some of the reports that the shooter pledged allegiance to isis are borne out. we've seen that in numerous cases in the west where a gunman or attacker pledges allegiance to the leader of isis just before launching an attack. so we saw that with the kosher market attack in paris in 2015. an attack a few months later in copenhagen. we saw that also in the united states with the san bernardino shootings and an attempted shooting in garland, texas, in 2015. so it has been a feature of these plots, isis-inspired plots where the shooter will pledge
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allegiance so isis can take ownership of the attack. i think we can expect if these reports are borne out and they are confirmed i think we can expect isis to take a great deal of ownership for this attack. this would be the worst terrorist attack on u.s. soil since 9/11. >> indeed. it's already the deadliest mass shooting in the united states ever. but, yes, indeed, the worst terrorist attack on u.s. soil since 9/11 although there have been several others since then, whether fort hood or san bernardino or the boston marathon attacks. we can go on and on cruickshank, is this the future of terrorism? or not even future. is this the present of terrorism. lone wolves, self-radicalized carrying out their twisted acts and not necessarily even the plots and conspiracies of al qaeda? >> i can tell you, jake, it's
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the biggest concern in the united states. people who aren't necessarily connected to isis, haven't traveled there but launching attacks in isis' name. there's particular concern in the united states because of the confluencing of increasing radicalization in the united states and easy access to weapons. we all know how easy it is to get weapons, very powerful weapons in the united states. so there's been concern from officials that we could see exactly this sort of attack play out. in europe where i am right now the concern is more isis-directed plots. a larger group of plotters who have been trained in syria coming back. but some similarities as several analysts have noted between this attack and paris. a music venue, hostage situation. we saw that play out in the
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bataclan conference in paris. >> and we're being told president obama will address the nation at 1:30 p.m. eastern. that's 10:30 a.m. pacific to talk about this i would expect the president to address the sorrow of the nation and talk about this is the deadliest mass shooting in the history of the united nations. i would expect him to note the radical islamic ideology while cautioning the american people not to suggest that all muslims or a majority of muslims have revulsion when looking at this act. >> absolutely right, jake. and what stands out in the united states, the vast majority of the american muslim community absolutely reject this is isis ideology. that being said, there have been
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a thousand investigations opened by the fbi into radical extremists, suspected radical extremists in the united states. 800 of those connections are of individuals who are believed to have some sympathy with isis. so there is a significant problem of radicalization in the united states. we've seen a string of plots and attacks over the last few years, jake. one thing we've also seen is the falloffs of the number of americans traveling to isis to join syria. but the worry has been if they find it more difficult to get to syria they want to launch attacks back home and just a few weeks ago the key spokesman for isis called on american isis supporters to launch a surge of attacks during ramadan. ramadan just started a few days ago, isis has been telling their supporters you'll get ten times
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the rewards in the afterlife if you carry out attacks during ramadan. >> paul cruickshank, thank you so much. our reporters are finding out as much as they can from the terrorists. we'll bring you as much as we can after this quick break.
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welcome back to this breaking news. president obama will address the nation during the upcoming hour about what now is the deadliest mass shooting in american history. he'll speak at 1:30 p.m. eastern, 10:30 pacific. cnn will carry his speech live, of course. he will be addressing the fact that 50 people have been killed and 53 are injured. some of them grievously after a lone gunman attacked an lgbt nightclub in oreglando, florida. the other deal started at 2:00 in the morning east coast time. an initial shootout with police led to a three-hour standoff when there were hostages and people hiding in the club,
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police then broke into the nightclub and the gunman appeared and he was shot and killed. he has been identified as omar seddique mateen. cnn justice correspondent evan perez has been working his sources. he joins us now. evan, as you heard earlier in the broadcast, congressman adam schiff of the house intelligence committee said he had heard that local law enforcement said that he -- i'm cold governor rick scott is speaking. let's listen to him. >> the first thing you think about when this happens is you can't imagine what these families are going through. the families are still waiting to find out what happened to their loved ones. the most important thing we can do right now as law enforcement is doing their job and health care workers are doing everything they can for the victims is pray for everybody.
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thank god we have the law enforcement we have at the states, the orange county police department, all the federal agency, everybody's coordinated their activities very well. it's heroic, the individuals that went into the building knowing there was an active shooter. so we need to be very thankful that there were individual there is willing to risk their lives to save other lives and they clearly saved other lives. for anybody that thinks that they should do this, i can tell you the state of florida, the local law enforcement will be swift in their justice. we have great law enforcement and they'll always do the right thing. i declared a state of emergency for orange county.
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we're going to provide all the resources that anyone needs and i can tell you everybody is going to work together and that's one thing great about our state, orlando, orange county, and i want to thank all the federal agencies for their support. right now, our hearts and prayers go out to everybody that's been impacted. i can't imagine a family member that is still waiting to find out what happened to their loved one, it has to be heart wrenching. i know the state attorney wanted to say something. >> i just want to thank the governor for coming down to join us, this is a terrible, terrible evil act. as a father of seven, i called and checked on some of my kids this morning to make sure they were okay. we're doing everything we can, law enforce system working well together. our victim advocates are helping out to see if we can help with families and i encourage everyone to please donate blood. we'll need a lot of it. i want to thank our local law
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enforcement officers for the amazing amazing job they've been doing. >> we'll take questions. excuse me just for a second. the law enforcement has already said -- the mayors have said when they're going to have another press conference which will provide for information. there's a lot of unanswered questions and at that time they'll answer the questions. >> reporter: again scott, was the suspect someone that was on your radar before sand? are authorities in florida aware of this suspect and any bad activity he may have been up? >> i know there's a later press conference, law enforcement will answer those questions. >> reporter: you said this was an act of terrorism, can you define why? what makes this an act of terrorism? >> this is clearly an act of terror. you can't makt this could happen to anybody in our state, our country. but for somebody to go in there and take that number of lives and injure that many people is
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clearly an act of terror. >> would that make you change your views? would you back any kind of gun legislation or restrictions on gun purchases, anything like that? >> right now this is the time to find out what happened, a time to pray for those that have been -- have lost their families, lost their lives. pray for the victims. there will be plenty of time to deal with how our society comes together. i can tell you the orlando area, orange county, the state of florida we're very resilient. we will come together and do everything we can to heeverybod that's been impacted. >> reporter: governor, can you talk about why you issued a statement of emergency? >> reporter: and what does that mean for the families and the victims? >> we declared a state of emergency to make sure all the resources that would be necessary for the city and county would be necessary --
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anything needed from the state is available immediately. the head of florida department of law enforce system the coordinating officer but we've worked with the mayors and sheriffs and the police chief to make sure they have the resources they need. >> what do you know about what was happening between 2:00 a.m.? >> law enforcement will answer those questions. they're having another press conference at 1:30. >> reporter: have any families of the victims been contacted. >> i know they're working hard to reach every family. they have victim advocates to take care of these families. you just can't imagine. i have daughters and grand children, i can't imagine this happening to my family. >> reporter: are you meeting with the families yourself, governor? >> it's devastating. you know, you don't want that to happen anywhere in the world, but i can tell you law
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enforcement, our elected officials, we were hoping this would never happen. it's devastating when you see -- when you see how many people lost their lives and the impact it will have on their families. >> will you be meeting your with the families yourself? >> i will meet the with families at the appropriate. >> governor, you said there was impediments this morning in between communication, between the families and the hospital staff due to privacy regulations. the white house has been contacte contacted. >> i think -- that's been
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resolve resolved. >> we're dealing with a tragedy right now. our prayers go out to everybody impacted. law enforcement is doing their job. there will be plenty of time to think about how we continue to improve our society. we'll continue to work on how we do that ch. >> i'll answer one question real quick. so the ceo of the hospital came to me and said they had an issue related to the families that had come to the emergency room because of hipaa regulations, they could not give them any information. i reached out to the white house to see if we could get hipaa regulations waived, the white house responded through appropriate channels to wave those so the hospital could communicate with families there were that. >> reporter: have all the victims at the hospital been identified? >> i don't know, i think the majority have been. we have not identified victims
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that are still in the nightclub but i believe that the ones that have been transported to the hospital and are deceased have been identified. >> have you spoken to the president? >> i have spoke within the president, the governor, everybody has lent their support to this. the president offered any resources that the federal government could possibly provide. the fbi has been tremendous. the fdle has been tremendous. we have no complaints about our state and federal partners in their help. >> reporter: will you talk about the things you need on a federal level? what are those things that you need. >> well, the waiving of the hipaa laws so that the doctors and health care personnel can communicate with family members was probably the most important but a on the ground what we need from the federal government, we have, which is the fbi and their resources and the coordination with fdle and opd.
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there's not much more that i can ask of them. they were here immediately in response. they've done a lot of research into the shooter. they'll be prepared to update you on the next press conference at around 2:00. >> thank you. >> i am state senator geraldine thompson and pulse nightclub is in the senate district that i represent and i just had an opportunity to speak with the governor about the state of emergency that he has declared and to thank him for making sure that the resources that are needed come into this community. and we know that there are people donating blood and while they are making that sacrifice, we're calling on the community to support them by providing water, providing food. and the governor and i are going to have a serious discussion about reform because the fami families not only lost members of their families to this tragedy but they lost a feeling
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of safety. so when we talk about safety, we have to talk about how guns come into the hands of violent and unstable people. how is it that assault weapons that are used in military operation get into the hands of a single individual and how is it that magazines of weapons and bullets that are usually used in military combat come into our communities. those are things i'll be talking with the governor about. >> reporter: [ inaudible question ] >> well, every time we have one of these mass shootings but we talk about reform but nothing has s done and this as brought it home to our doorstep. as i said, i'll be talking about the governor with what we can do with regard to some of our laws. we have people that can buy guns at gun shows that are not
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required to have background checks. so these are some of the kinds of things that can be put in place and i am heartbroken for the victims, for their families. we let them know we are working to address the problem that we don't want to be routine that happens in our communities time and time again. >> can you please say your name again. >> my name is geraldine thompson. i am the state senator that represents the community where the pulse nightclub is located inial hasty. >> we just heard from the governor of florida as well as other officials including a local senator. one of the thing that was highlighted at that press conference was the fact that there are still so many families
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who don't know if what happened to their loved ones and the mayor of florida mayor dyer told us that there were nine individuals, nine victims of this mass shooting rushed from the club to the hospital and declared dead on the scene of arrival at the hospitals. that's nine. two innocent victims killed outside the club and 39 inside the club, i believe that's not including the terrorist himself, so that's 39 families who still don't know what happened to their loved ones. 39 individuals inside the club who have not yet been definitively identified by law enforcement so one cannot imagine the pain and emotional anguish that these families are going through right now as they wait to hear whether their loved ones are on that horrific list. let's continue to talk about this breaking news story with cnn law enforcement analyst art
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roderick who used to be with the u.s. marshal service. also joining us is cnn national security contributor juliette kayyem, former assistant secretary of the department of homeland security. juliet, let me go to you. what a horrible scene, not just the deadliest mass shooting in the history of this country but also the fact that there are loved ones and friends of the 39 victims inside the club who still don't know if their loved ones were taken or not. >> that's right. it was jaw dropping to me when the mayor said there were still people they were identifying in the club. i mean, that just gives you a sense of how horrific that scene may be. they want to be careful, they want to be respectful but obviously that means people are waiting to get verification that they are one of the 39 that are
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inside. those who are injured in hospitals, their family have probably been notified so those waiting may be waiting for very bad news. the other things that have happened since we've been on is just to make clear the difference between isis-directed and isis-inspired. we are going to hear a lot about isis in the next couple days. they will take credit. they will be gleeful. they will be online. they will be shouting from the roof tops. that's the atmospherics for what is going on. for law enforcement purposes, we want to keep our focus on understanding what happened. there is a big difference between isis-directed and isis-inspired. isis-directed is a much bigger problem, it means isis was able to get someone, train them and get them into the united states to plan a mass event. that's what we saw in paris. there is no evidence that that is the case yet.
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this will unfold slowly and if we have isis-inspired, that's the hardest thing to stop bauds it's an individual who may not have notified anyone and may be passively absorbing isis' message with no direct contact to anyone with isis so there are difference and they matter for law enforcement purposes even though the atmospherics of it we may want to clump everything into isis. it's a very significant difference and i suspect that is a different that the fbi is being guided by right now. >> all right, juliette, thank you so much for that. joining us right now is the governor of florida, rick scott, who greets us on what must be the worst day of your governorship, mr. scott, thank you for joining us. >> well, this is sicken iing. it makes you mad. it's clearly an act of terror when somebody walks into a
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nightclub and basically murders all these individuals so this is an unbelievable tragedy for my state. the first thing we think about is our own state, i have daughters and grand kids, but what i can tell you i've declared a state of emergency for orange county which is where -- i'm about a block away from the nightclub. i've declared a state of emergency to make sure all state resources are available. we have great law enforcement in our state but this is an attack on orlando, florida, america, every one of us. i can tell you in florida we believe in justice and if anybody wants to commit an act of terror in our state we will show up, our justice will be swift and penalties will be severe. this is devastating. >> governor, obviously it's a horrific act of terrorism, the deadliest mass shooting in the history of this country, i think a lot of people are curious as
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to what the other gin of this terrorist was. congressman adam schiff said this individual was known to law enforcement. what can you tell us about this? >> we don't know all the details. there will be more details coming out from law enforcement. i'm here with federal, state, local agencies, everybody is working very hard, i can only deal with that issue but also to deal with all of the families and loved ones that are impacted but i can tell you there's great coordination at the local, state and federal level. you have to really admire the law enforcement that are willing to -- you know, when they had to break through n through the wall into this nightclub and go in
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not knowing what was going to happen, you have to so much thank god that we have the law enforcement we have in our country. >> absolutely. today's first responders are -- as has been pointed out on the show the equivalent of first responders in a war zone quite often. there are families who don't know whether or not their loved ones are taken. there are 39 issues in the club who haven't been identified whose loved ones have not yet been alerted. how long will that process take? >> they are working through trying to find next of kin for every individual. they're doing that as quickly as they can. you can't imagine if one of those families got a phone call
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how devastating it would be to your family. but i can tell you this state is going to do the right thing and law enforcement is going to do the right thing. and we are going to stand up to this terrorism, the shooter, the terrorist is apparently from fort piece, florida, the police, law enforcement, have been searching his home. i imagine his family will be in some sort of protective custody over the next few days and weeks. what can you tell us about his life in florida? we're told he was a trained security guard who did work and possibly even worked for the federal government at some point. >> clearly we don't know all the details. i know that in working with law enforcement here at every level they're working hard to find those things out and i know they will be putting that information out as soon as they feel comfortable doing it. there's a good process of people working together to make sure we
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know exactly what happened because we don't want this to happen again. >> as you know, this is gay pride month, the lgbt community appears to have been directly targeted. there are a lot of people, members of that community and supporting friends and family who are very worried. obviously if this was radical islam, which the special agent in charge of the fbi suggested it may have been, that is a community that has been under siege from radical islam. are you taking any special precautions to make sure during pride month but also in florida which is known as being hospitable to the gay and lesbian community to make sure that community is protected? >> well, jake, we don't want anybody in our state to ever be targeted, we don't want anybody to be discriminated against and so in everication when we believe that there is somebody
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doing the wrong thing we work hard to make sure we take care of them. so as we go through this process what we'll learn is what we can do to hopefully never, ever, ever let this happen again. >> you've declared a state of emergency in orange county, florida, where orlando is but there are other areas of the state of florida, south beach, for example, where there may be a large and thriving lgbt community that might be very, very afraid this morning. are you taking precautions? sending law enforcement to make sure there are no copycats or just in case this individual wasn't a lone wolf that that community is being protected? >> absolutely. we have good law enforcement and when something like this happens one of the first things you do on top of dealing with the issue you have at hand is saying okay,
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who else could this impact and what can we do to make sure that doesn't happen? >> lastly, in addition to individuals being called upon in the orlando area to give blood -- and let me repeat that again, if you are o negative, o positive or have ab blood go to or dial 888-9-donate to find out where you can donate because the hospitals will need your blood. beyond that, sir, there are a lot of americans watch what want to know who what they can do to help. >> i think the biggest thing is pray. pray for the victims, their families, pray that this never happens again. we have a wonderful state, orlando is a wonderful community, we have a wonderful country. we -- i don't want this to happen again. it's devastating to these families, my art goes out to them. i can't imagine losing one of my
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daughters or my grandsons. >> florida governor rick scott, thank you so much for calling in. we appreciate it. our hearts with are you and the good citizens of orlando today. >> thank you, bye-bye. >> when we come back, we'll have the latest from our reporters working their sources trying to find out more about the terrorists who caused this devastating attack, the deadliest mass shooting in the history of this country. stay with us. if you think you've seen it all, ...well do i have a surprise for you. it's red lobster's new lobster and shrimp summerfest! with the lobster and shrimp... love in so many new dishes, you're gonna wanna try... ...every last one. like the new coastal lobster & shrimp. with a wood-grilled lobster tail, ...wild-caught red shrimp crusted with panko, ...and shrimp fresh off the grill and brushed with... ...summer ale bbq sauce. or try the new lobster & shrimp overboard, ...because when a dish can wow you like this, ...overboard's the only way to describe it. but hurry, this ends soon.
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welcome back to cnn's breaking news about this horrific event. the worst deadliest mass shooting in america's history. president obama will address the nation at 1:30 a.m. eastern, 10:30 pacific. 50 people killed, 50 injured some grievously after a gunman
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attacked an lgbt nightclub in orlando. let us use this information i'm about to share with you sparingly. his name is omar seddique mateen, that's a name i won't mention for the rest of his show. that is his photograph. we know he was trained as a private security guard, his parents are from afghanistan. he was apparently on the fbi's radar from ft. pierce, florida. let us take that graphic down and join evan perez on the phone who can tell us more about what law enforcement new about this terrorist. evan? >> jake, as you said, he was. >> investigated by the name. his name came up in previous investigations. he wasn't the focus of the investigation as they looked into possible ties to extremists, islamic extremists. whether or not he was a sympathize we are al qaeda or isis. this occurred some years ago and that perhaps explains why no action was taken and why he
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continues to work as a private security guard. this company he worked for is a major company, major provider for u.s. government buildings so that is something that will be a -- some focus for investigators. if this man was on the radar for possible ties to extremist how is he able to keep his license and security guard able to buy weapons with very little questions asked, obviously. we're told he was able to buy these firearms legally, including in the last couple of weeks, in the st. lucie county area in florida where he lived. but that's we expect will be dominating this case as the fbi investigates which is what did they miss, perhaps, when they looked into him. was there something they could have done differently that might have changed the outcome? >> we know, evan, that having
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your name on a terrorist watch list is not enough to preclude you from legally being able to buy a firearm in this country but i'm curious. i would think it would pop up in a security check for somebody who is working for a private security firm, especially a reputable one and one that provide security for government buildings. no? >> one would think so and that's something that i'm asking questions about, jake, because i don't know what types of checks these security companies do when they do a background check on an employee and whether or not -- the question is whether or not they go back and keep checking your background after you've already started working for them in case something comes up later on. are they aware of it? obviously the fact that the fbi never brought charges is relevant because you can't take away someone's second amendment rights just because they were investigated. the president recently addressed
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this very question, jake, when someone asked him about the second amendment. and we said we have cases where people have put on no-fly lists and we are not able to -- the fbi is not able to deny them their right to buy a firearm and he thinks that is something that needs to be changed. that's something congress will have to take a look at. >> thanks so much, evan perez. jim sciutto is also working his sources. jim, what are you learning? >> well, this was, intelligence officials saying the same as law enforcement officials, this is someone known to law enforcement. the thing is there are hundreds of people who are known and that is not guilt in its own light so you can have -- express something, you could have followed someone on twitter. there are a thousand different levels of support that you can express for these groups and this is the problem that counterterror officials and law enforcement officials have in the u.s. right now.
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you have a long list of people in that category, the percentage of those people who would carry out a horrible attack like we've witnessed today is just a small percentage. you can't lock them up. that's the problem they face here. you have on top of that this added idea not only was he out free but he had a gun and he was working as a security guard which brings a whole other question which evan just raised which is why did not not turn up in the background check for that position. it is an enormous challenge to try to do -- try to prevent these things in advance even if you have some indication they've expressed a level of support because that's not necessarily predictive of carrying out an act of terrorism. it's a really difficult thing to. >> do jim sciutto, thanks so much. and art roderick of the u.s. marshals, there was something you wanted to say? >> regarding the clearance issue. this sounds like to me if the individual is working and
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securing federal buildings he possibly could be working for the federal protective service as a contract employee. the backgrounds they do there are generally single scope or double scope which means they might do a criminal history check to make sure he hasn't been a convicted felon and do a financial check to make sure his finances are in order. once they do that and you get on the job, for that particular low level of clearance they might not every check on him again as long as nothing comes to the forefront. when you have top secret clearance or higher that is reinvestigated every five years if nothing occurred in between the first time you're issued that clearance and nothing between the next five years. >> our thanks to art and juliette kayyem. for more information on ways you can help the victims and their families, go to and that will have more information. our live coverage of this horrific, horrific terrorist attack continues with wolf blitzer after this.
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hello, i'm wolf blitzer in washington. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. we're getting new details on the breaking news, moment-by-moment developments in what will go down as the worst mass shooting in american history. at least 50 people are dead. at least 53 people are injured after a gunman opened fire at the pulse nightclub in orlando, florida, at approximately 2:00 a.m. eastern. police and the fbi are investigating this massacre as a possible act of terrorism. the gunman has been identified as omar seddique mateen. he's 29 years old. just into cnn, the shooter who committed this horrific act was, in fact, on the fbi's radar.


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